This health issue may increase fall risk in older people with diabetes

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Hypoglycemia is a health condition in which the blood sugar (glucose) level is lower than normal.

In a recent study at the University of California in San Francisco and elsewhere, researchers found severe hypoglycemia is linked to a higher risk for falls in older people with type 2 diabetes.

The study is published in Diabetes Care. One author is Alexandra K. Lee, Ph.D.

In the study, the team used data from 1,162 people with diagnosed diabetes. They focused on the association between severe hypoglycemia and falls.

The researchers found that 149 participants (12.8%) ever had a severe hypoglycemic event either before or during the 13 years of follow-up.

The rate of falls among people without severe hypoglycemia was 2.17 per 100 person-years versus 8.81 per 100 person-years for people with severe hypoglycemia.

The findings suggest severe hypoglycemia was linked to a higher risk of falls. They were consistent when examining subgroups by age, sex, race, body mass index, duration of diabetes, or functional difficulty.

The team says fall risk should be considered when using a glycemic treatment in older adults.

Assessing hypoglycemia history and future hypoglycemia risk could also improve fall prevention for older adults with diabetes.

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